May 29, 2016

THE HILL: Clinton email headache is about to get worse.

A scathing inspector general’s report this week was just the first in what is likely to be a series of official actions related to her private server stemming from the FBI, a federal courthouse and Capitol Hill.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has failed to quiet the furor over the issue, which has dogged her for more than a year.

In the next few weeks — just as the likely Democratic presidential nominee hopes to pivot towards a general election — it will face its toughest scrutiny yet.

“All of that feeds into this overarching problem of public distrust of her,” said Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University.

“To put it in slang terms, she’s got a pretty deeply held street rep at this point. This fits the street rep,” he added.

The State Department’s watchdog report was especially damaging, given the official nature of its source. The report claimed that Clinton never sought approval for her “homebrew” email setup, that her use of the system violated the department’s record-keeping rules and that it would have been rejected had she brought it up to department officials.

Clinton’s allies attempted to paint the office as partisan in the weeks ahead of the report’s release, but the effort failed to leave a lasting impact.

For months, Clinton and her team have failed to offer a convincing explanation for the use of the private server, and she has steadfastly refused to apologize.

She wanted to maintain FOIA immunity by ensuring that her emails were never in the custody of the State Department. She did that by breaking the law on handling classified information, and by making high-level secrets readily available to our enemies.